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Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of Patient Navigators

Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of Patient Navigators | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Patient navigation, which helps patients overcome barriers to accessing care, is growing in importance, particularly in cancer care. Patient navigators, sometimes also called patient advocates, health care advocates or consultants, or medical advocates, aid patients in finding doctors, understanding treatment and care options, dealing with medical paperwork, maneuvering insurance, and more. However, the exact roles and responsibilities of patient navigators remain ill-defined. In a recent article, a committee of cancer care providers, educators, and cancer research centers, led by the George Washington University Cancer Institute, lays down a consensus framework defining the roles and competencies of patient navigators and clarifying their place in the health care system. This framework is intended to help standardize the patient navigator profession.

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George Washington University  |  Dec 23, 2013

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Cancer Experts Organization Decries Cuts in Biomedical Research Funding

Cancer Experts Organization Decries Cuts in Biomedical Research Funding | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Over 200 medical research advocacy organizations urged the U.S. Congress to invest in biomedical research during the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day. In a statement supporting the event, the president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) criticized cuts in federal funding for biomedical research. He referenced a recent survey showing that three-quarters of cancer researchers report that the current federal funding situation is negatively impacting their ability to conduct research, more than one-third have had to lay off skilled staff, and many young researchers are choosing to leave the field. These difficulties undermine the promise of recent scientific advances that would otherwise offer the prospect of significant progress against cancer.

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ASCO Post | Sep 18, 2013

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Cancer Drug Labels Lack Patient-Centric Information

Cancer Drug Labels Lack Patient-Centric Information | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Unlike many noncancer drugs, the vast majority of cancer drug labels do not include information about the medications’ effects on patient symptoms and quality of life. Such information is especially important given that some new cancer drugs offer only slightly increased survival benefits, making quality of life a crucial factor of a patient’s cost-benefit analysis. Worse symptoms and lower quality of life are also associated with patients not complying with treatment guidelines and with worse prognosis overall. In a recent article, cancer specialist Ethan Basch argues that drug developers should systematically collect information on how their treatments make patients feel and include direct patient input starting early in drug development.

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ScienceDaily | Jul 4, 2013

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Two New Books Offer History and Criticism of Cancer Research

Two New Books Offer History and Criticism of Cancer Research | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Despite billions of dollars invested in cancer research and high-profile anti-cancer government initiatives, millions of people continue to die of cancer every year. In his forthcoming book The Truth in Small Doses, Clifton Leaf blames the cancer research field for being too risk-averse and unreceptive to new ideas. He calls on researchers to explore fundamentally novel approaches, including chemoprevention, i.e., treatments aimed at preventing cancer before it develops in the first place. On the other hand, the cautious research practices decried by Leaf minimize the risk of patients being harmed by unproven, hastily adopted methods. Cautionary examples of such incidents are included in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies, a history of cancer and its treatment.

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New Yorker | Jul 1, 2013

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Advocacy Group: Lung Cancer Patients Who Have Been Exposed to Asbestos May be Eligible for Compensation

Advocacy Group: Lung Cancer Patients Who Have Been Exposed to Asbestos May be Eligible for Compensation | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The Lung Cancer Asbestos Victims Center has launched a national campaign emphasizing that patients diagnosed with any type of lung cancer, not just mesothelioma, may be eligible for significant financial compensation if they have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, even if the exposure occurred decades ago. The advocacy group lists the types of workplaces with the highest risk of asbestos exposure on their website. Patients or their family members can contact the organization at 866-714-6466 to get more information and to be directed to an experienced law firm.

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PRWeb | Jan 31, 2013

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U.S. Doctors Begin to Question High Cost of Cancer Medicines

U.S. Doctors Begin to Question High Cost of Cancer Medicines | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Cancer drug prices have risen dramatically since the early 2000s, especially in the U.S. Some doctors are beginning to balk at medications that, in some cases, can cost over $10,000 a month and often offer only marginal improvements in survival. Other drugs do produce dramatic increases in life expectancy, but accumulating expenses force patients to stop treatment. Several aspects of the U.S. drug market contribute to high prices, including long patent durations that shield drug makers from competition, and Medicare’s inability to negotiate better prices with drug makers. Health authorities in several other countries have started to refuse coverage for drugs that, in their estimation, do not offer enough benefit to warrant their high cost. Notably, cancer drug prices in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S. In 2012, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center became the first major U.S. hospital to refuse offering a cancer drug–zif-aflibercept (Zaltrap)–due to price concerns.

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New York Magazine | Oct 20, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, October 23, 2013 2:03 PM

New York Magazine | Oct 20, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, October 23, 2013 2:03 PM

New York Magazine | Oct 20, 2013

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U.S. Cancer Experts' Report Emphasizes Successes, Need for More Funding

U.S. Cancer Experts' Report Emphasizes Successes, Need for More Funding | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Over 200 medical research advocacy organizations urged the U.S. Congress to invest in biomedical research during the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day. In a statement supporting the event, the president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) criticized cuts in federal funding for biomedical research. He referenced a recent survey showing that three-quarters of cancer researchers report that the current federal funding situation is negatively impacting their ability to conduct research, more than one-third have had to lay off skilled staff, and many young researchers are choosing to leave the field. These difficulties undermine the promise of recent scientific advances that would otherwise offer the prospect of significant progress against cancer.

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Los Angeles Times | Sep 17, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, September 19, 2013 12:23 PM

Los Angeles Times | Sep 17, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, September 19, 2013 12:23 PM

Los Angeles Times | Sep 17, 2013

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Oncologists Should Specialize to Provide the Best Care

Given a growing appreciation of the diversity in cancer diagnoses and the importance of individualized treatment, oncologists (cancer physicians) should focus on the specific cancer types they are most experienced in, argues Rebecca Bechhold. In a recent essay, the oncologist points out that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all of the many new cancer drugs and their various applications. Practitioners are also bound to be better versed in the management of conditions that they treat frequently. She encourages patients to seek out doctors who specialize in their cancer type, and physicians to be open with patients about which cancer types they have the most expertise in and which they are less familiar with.

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Cancer Network | Jun 30, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, July 8, 2013 1:35 PM

Cancer Network | Jun 30, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, July 8, 2013 1:35 PM

Cancer Network | Jun 30, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, July 8, 2013 1:35 PM

Cancer Network | Jun 30, 2013

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Open Letter Urges Administration to Provide Guidance to Protect Patient Access to Clinical Trials

Open Letter Urges Administration to Provide Guidance to Protect Patient Access to Clinical Trials | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Over 50 medical and advocacy organizations have jointly authored an open letter to the U.S. Administration calling for clear guidance to regulate the implementation of a statute protecting patient access to clinical trials. At present, only 6% of patients with severe chronic illness and fewer than 5% of cancer patients participate in clinical trials. This low participation rate hampers the progress of research necessary to develop much-needed new treatments. To promote and protect patient participation in clinical trials, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ('Obamacare') contains a provision that mandates coverage of routine medical costs for people who participate in approved clinical trials. However, the details of implementing this provision are left up to the individual states, which may lead to uneven and unpredictable coverage. The letter points to a 2010 study showing that patients have been denied coverage of their clinical trial costs, even in states that already require such coverage. The letter signatories therefore call for federal guidelines for implementation to be issued before the provision goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

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ASCO in Action | Jun 18, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 20, 2013 2:51 PM

ASCO in Action | June 18, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 20, 2013 2:51 PM

ASCO in Action | June 18, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 20, 2013 2:51 PM

ASCO in Action | June 18, 2013